Monthly Archives: March 2016

images (15)When I designed my coaching website, I needed to create a tag line. A type of a one line description of what the site was all about. I wanted it to summarize how I felt about the process of getting out of debt and why so many people start at it but quickly give up.

Science was my first love as a career. I spent my first ten years of work life in the biotechnology world. So the idea of a math equation flashed into my mind.

There are thousands of websites and probably millions of blog posts and articles about how to get out of debt. "Seven methods to lower your credit card debt". "Five tips to reduce your holiday spending". Tons and tons of information out there.

So why do less than half of Americans pay off our credit card balances every month? Why do 35% of us have accounts in collections?

I reflected on my two journeys through debt. The first ended in credit counseling and bankruptcy. The second ended with everything paid off, including our home mortgage. What was the difference?

I "knew" that we had debt both times. In my head.

The difference was acknowledging my debt in my heart; my gut. The first time I did not do this. My "plan" to get out of debt was that my business would finally begin earning real money. My heart said everything would work out. My heart knowledge never supported my head knowledge. And I failed.

"Know Debt" was accomplished but nothing else.

In the second plan I got mad (as did my wife). We plugged into this anger and other emotions. We got our hearts involved. We "KNEW" our debt. 17 months later we had paid off our credit card, auto loan, department store card and orthodontist. And then 30 months later we paid off our home mortgage.

"KNOW Debt" was added to "Know Debt". They added up to "NO DEBT".

My math equation tag line crystallized. It explained why we want to get out of debt and have the best intentions to get out of debt. But we rarely get there.

We generally acknowledge that we have debt in our heads. We know we have three credit cards with balances on them. We know we have an auto loan that pays off in 2018. We know we have five student loans. And we might know the total debt that we owe. We have the head knowledge.

So we read posts, articles and forum advice that make logical sense on how to pay off our debts. Eliminate every expense that we can. No cable TV, no going out to a movie, etc. Live a spartan lifestyle.

And work three jobs.

Our heads can do this for 2-3 weeks. Maybe a month or two. But if our hearts do not support this lifestyle and behavior, something is going to cause us to quit this plan. Once the fun of the adventure dies off, the idea of living on dog food and replacing electricity with candles becomes so unappealing that we give up.

Once our hearts are out of the equation, our plans to get out of debt are dead in the water. Because there are no easy, pixie dust plans to get out of debt. It takes focus. It takes work. It may take some sacrifice. But your plan needs to be realistic; a plan that you can live with. Logically it may take longer. But emotionally you will stick with it all the way to the end and get to NO DEBT.

Take what you know in your head and get it into your heart. Then you will get out of debt.

download (17)Managing debts is a difficult task and many people do not have the means to pay off their debts. Often, people get overwhelmed by the options available for consolidation of debts and they cannot decide their course of action. Out of the available options for debt relief, seeking the help of an agency which provides credit counseling services is the best. There are many such agencies which offer credit counseling services and every month, thousands of people opt for the services of these agencies. People have benefited from using such services as they could consolidate their debt and pay them off over a short period of time.

What is Credit counseling?

It is a practical approach to tackling all kinds of debt and these agencies offer solutions based on the credit situation of the consumer. People should understand that there cannot be a general solution to everyone's debt issues as each individual is different. Hence, credit counseling agencies or companies can assist people on an individual basis, based on their ability to make payments, total available financial assets, total amount of debt, annual income and so on. The credit counseling agencies are present in countries around the globe and it is easy to approach any of these agencies when one is in need of their services.

How does credit counseling work?

It works for most people as they get to find practical solutions to their debt issues, which they can adhere to. Besides, they help the people in negotiating with the creditors and reaching settlement agreements, which make it possible for the borrowers to consolidate and reduce their total debt in due course of time. Also, the credit counseling agencies can assist the borrowers in applying for loans (both secured & unsecured), which can help them in clearing the debt amounts in a short period of time.

The agency can let people make realistic monthly budget which they can easily adhere to. People who take the help of these agencies can realize their financial goals and manage their money in an efficient and effective manner. In the end, people can find a balance between their expenses and income, and wisely use their available credit, so that they can achieve their goal of getting relief from debt and be financially stable.

Advantages of credit counseling services

  • People can achieve better understanding of their credit standing and financial situation;
  • They can arrange for the borrowers to make a single payment every month;
  • They can also assist in lowering the interest rates of the borrowers;
  • People do not have to face the calls of collection agencies and will not have to negotiate with the creditors on their own;
  • People will also be assisted in getting loans.

There are quite a few credit counseling agencies available in the market but not all of them are genuine. If you are looking for the services of a genuine debt relief agency, then you can opt for a reliable credit counseling or debt relief counseling service, which can help you with all kinds of debt management and relief solutions.

You must remember that a credit card is a not a bane but is actually a boon as long as you use it in the right manner. Make sure that you do not go overboard with your expenses and keep a track of the transactions completed with the card. In case there are supplementary cards, you should also keep a track of the transactions completed with them. Above all, you should always make the payments on time so that you do not have to worry about credit card debts.

download (16)I listened to a training yesterday afternoon on time management. How to eliminate distractions and become relentlessly focused. I have probably attended and listened to more than a dozen time management trainings during the years. Yet every time, I do well for a week or so and then the bad habits creep back in. Checking emails throughout the day. Surfing the web. Listening to a podcast instead of writing a blog post!

All of these actions are necessary, but I allow them to occur when I am "at my best", in the morning. Which takes me away from getting my important tasks done when I am most energetic and creative. Which means these important tasks get done later in the day and take time away from my wife. Time I can never get back!

As I was taking notes during this training lesson, I thought about the millions of people who are trying to get out of debt. How many distractions are they facing that knock them off of their plans? What money did they spend today that they can never get back?

This one statement from yesterday's notes really stood out for me and my struggle with managing my time: "Am I willing to spend the next 30 minutes reading emails instead of writing my blog post? Because I will never have those 30 minutes back again!"

I realized that I have not written any blog posts for weeks. All because I have allowed other things to become more important. Let enough things get in the way and the blog posts moved to the bottom of my to do list. Then realized that two months have passed by with nothing to show for it on my website!

We can use this thinking for gaining control of our debt just like gaining control of our time. Let's substitute "money" for "time" in my statement from above. "Am I willing to spend this $40 on a movie and snacks? Because I will never have this $40 back again!"

We think we will get that $40 back on our next paycheck. But if we really think about it, that $40 is unique. We control it today because it exists today. We can save it, spend it or apply it towards our debt. But whatever we do with it, we will never have that same $40 again!

I can "steal" 30 minutes from my wife to write a blog post. I can "steal" $40 from my next paycheck to go out to a movie tonight. Or I can get in control of my time and money instead.

Am I saying never go out and enjoy life until your debt is paid off? No way! That is a guarantee for failure! Some few people may be able to eat dog food, use candles for lighting and live a spartan lifestyle the entire time they work their debt plans. But the vast majority (including me!) need to have some level of fun in order to stay on the plan.

Can you go to a matinee? Can you go on a weekday instead of Friday or Saturday night? Many theatres here have $5 Tuesdays where you can see a new movie any time on Tuesday for $5. Can you watch the movie and not buy any snacks? Can you stay home and rent/download a movie for less than $7?

All of these options give you a reward and allow you to save at least half of that $40. You may be able to budget for this once or twice a month and stay on your plan to get out of debt.

Good time management does not mean never open your emails or surf the web again. It means you focus on your most important tasks first, then budget some time later to do those things. Time when you do not need to be at your most energetic and creative. And time that is not budgeted elsewhere like time with your family.

Good money management is the same. You budget your income and expenses but you build in a little bit of "fun money" as a reward for being focused on your budget. You don't rationalize using money from next week's paycheck to pay for a night out tonight. But you also don't stop living life!

download (15)Ways to Get Out of the Credit Card Quicksand

With the modern economic climate, there are a lot of women and men all over the world who are battling with consumer debt. It's simple to end up getting stressed out because of financial debt, with bank plastic being the major element of personal debt. Bank plastic is usually appealing to many people for the reason that they virtually look at them as completely free dollars, until eventually they receive the billing statement.

If you ever currently have been dealing with financial debt, you are likely dreaming about the day when you can at last be devoid of your credit burdens. While many individuals stay ensnared in credit debt for years and maybe even dozens of years, there are uncomplicated methods that can help get you out of financial debt more quickly than you may think. Here I will discuss 5 various straightforward methods to get to be debt free.

1) Stay away from racking up any additional credit card debt. This might sound self-explanatory, nonetheless lots of people who are presently in personal financial difficulties continuously use their credit cards. An effective strategy may be to cut up all but one of your plastic cards, or at the minimum, hide them away so you won't be toting them around with you.

2) Do not employ credit cards to pay for unsecured debt. It's inviting to make use of a card or credit line to pay off another bank card, specifically when your new card comes along with a lower promotional monthly interest rate. This process basically delays the unavoidable end result, and can keep you locked in a cycle of individual debt.

3) Set-up a written strategy that prepares for paying off your credit card debts. This file really should paint a genuine frame up of your up-to-date budgeting situation, and lay out the exact strategies you are going to take advantage of to settle your charge cards. Writing your finances on paper will allow you to identify items of unnecessary spending, allowing you to maximize extra money for paying off your loan creditors. A written plan of action should really likewise contain a forecasted time frame of when you are likely to be out of debt, which may be an excellent motivator.

4) Learn how to just say "no". Many of us pay out a lot more than necessary on restaurant meals, out shopping, and various other discretionary activities. Trimming just a just a handful of these bills each month will make it easy for you to put even more dollars towards repaying your credit card debt.

5) Any time you still cannot take care of your income problems, think about using the assistance of a credit card debt relief agency. These services provide loads of tools you'll be able to take advantage of to work with your loan companies to help reduce your credit balances. None of us prefers to confess that their credit duties have actually spun out of control, but trying to get advice is going to put you once more on track to starting to become debt free.

Finishing Tip: By researching and comparing the very best credit card debt relief services in the market, you will possess the ability to determine the one that fulfills your exact debt situation. It is prudent to choose a professional and reputable credit card debt counsellor before you start making any conclusion, by doing this you will help save time through specialised suggestions received from a successful credit debt advisor, who will help you to get better results in a far shorter duration of time.